05/19/2005 11:00PM

Interest sold in 'Argument'

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Owners Philip and Marcia Cohen have sold an equity interest in their Kentucky Derby runner-up Closing Argument.

Dennis Narlinger's JMJ Racing and Becky Thomas and Lewis Lakin's Sequel Stallions have purchased the interest on the eve of the Successful Appeal colt's expected start in Saturday's Preakness Stakes. Narlinger, Thomas, and Lakin teamed up earlier this year to bring Read the Footnotes to Ocala, Fla., where he now stands at stud under the Sequel Stallions banner.

Details of the transaction involving Closing Argument were not disclosed on Friday, when Narlinger announced it.

"The acquisition of equity in such a talented horse as Closing Argument, especially one that is so live going into the Preakness, is very exciting," Narlinger said in a statement. "Plus, I am thrilled to be in partnership with Becky and Lewis again, in addition to our first venture with the Cohens."

Closing Argument is currently Successful Appeal's leading earner and headed into the Preakness with a lifetime bankroll of $986,984. Successful Appeal, who was withdrawn from the breeding season early this year due to recent colic surgery, was last year's leading freshman sire. Closing Argument, a son of the Mr. Greeley mare Mrs. Greeley, won the 2005 Holy Bull Stakes, a Grade 3 race, as well as the National Association of Two-Year-Old Consignors Futurity in 2004. Through Friday, he had placed in two Grade 1 races, the Derby and the Blue Grass Stakes.